Body for a small CNC

I’ve been looking at the Zen which is made of HD Polyethylene. I’m not sure how rigid that thing is but the idea seems inexpensive. Plus the parts can easily be made on one of my other mills.

Another concept is the wooden box idea such as the makerbot or mantis. It could be bulky but it might also add a lot of structure and rigidity and still be affordable.

It might be difficult to work inside a box with a CNC as well.

One way of the other, I came across this version of the mantis.

It uses a box for it’s entire structure.

This could be very favorable for portability.

Also, if it were fitted with a door in the front, this could be a cool solution for dust and noise control.

To make it even more interesting you can mount the electrical to the box easily.

I think if this were fitted with some sort of vacuum, it would be a great small machine.

The box could be MDF and the door acrylic.

Even if most of the box was removable for when you want the machine to be more open.

Portable, quiet, clean and affordable.

Electrical for Marauder CNC (steppers, controllers, power supplies)


I think I found a pretty good solution for this one.

3 Nema17 Stepper Motor 68 oz-in+3 axis board CNC kit: 70.00+43.00 shipping China= 113.00

CNC STEPPER MOTOR POWER SUPPLY 24vdc 6.5 Amps: 27+10 shipping USA = 37.00

Total: 150.00

Bearings for Marauder DIY CNC


I’m looking at the bearings for the Marauder project.

I was going to use ball bearings like on my laser but I’m told that linear bearings can be purchased for cheap. Does anybody have any better ideas? Are these rods and bearings too heavy? Are there better suppliers to consider? I will do a BOM for the ball bearings as well.

Here is a quick cut of pricing from VXB.

X: $120.00 ($100 if you split the rod 3 ways)
Supported Rod: 12mm, 60″ supported rail $89.00
Bearings: 10.00 each = 40.00

Y: $55.00
Rod: 16mm, 30″ $25.00
Bearings: $5 each = $20.00

Z: $25.00
Rod: 12mm, 13″  $5.00
Bearings: 4 for $20.00

TOTAL:  $170.00


3 Axis Nema 17 Electrical for CNC projects


I just received (minutes ago) the electrical parts for the Marauder and other CNC projects! Wohoo!

I bought the power supplies separately.

I’ll be testing this stuff out over the next short while!

I need to order some bearings for the Marauder project!

Marauder Extruder/Mill


I realize that it’s pretty involved to make even a simple CNC mill for cutting plastics and wood. There are nice open source projects such as the Mantis. But for some reason, there is still a high enough complexity that projects are not getting done in my community (despite the low cost of the project). Perhaps the functionality of these projects isn’t compelling enough for people to make the commitment.

So I am setting out to make an open source design that is both a CNC cutter AND a plastic extruder (like a reprap or a makerbot-cupcake (thing-o-matic)). It will have both an endmill and a spindle.

Here’s the plan as it stands (feedback, ideas and collaborators welcome!):

  • Marauder will have a work area of about 11 x 8.5 x 3″.
  • It will be possible to tote it around.
  • It will be based on inexpensive parts.
  • Construction methods will use common tools.

I expect to build many prototypes during the design phase. I’m supposing I’ll sell a few of them during the process.

I have no set timeline. I’ve been working on this for about a month.

Marauder is the current project working name. Naming the project isn’t a priority but I’m sure something will drop out of the process.